"Macro Art In Nature"

Explorations in the artistic world of macro photography.

A Day Of Silhouettes In Nature Photography.

My wife and sons were in the car, I had all of my camera gear loaded up, and we were off for a Thanksgiving get-together at my parents home out in the country.
I locked the door to the house, started walking to the car, looked up, and once again, … it was another one of those bright sunny days with not a cloud in the sky. A blue sky day! (Darn!!)
But this time, I had a plan for shooting while out in the country.

I managed to pull myself away from all of the food, (damn, .. it was good too!), and went out to the car to grab my vest and to load it up with some lenses, etc.
I knew exactly what I wanted to go after. Knowing just how the light was on that day, I knew that it would be great for some silhouettes.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Rose Leaves” – Silhouette

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The image shown above is from some rose leaves that were located under a large arbor.
The arbor itself gave off some good shade, and hovering above the arbor was even more shade coming from the maples and oak trees.
For silhouettes, I like to get inside of a heavily shaded area and to shoot outwards and towards the brighter or less shaded areas.
So, I simply sat down on the bricks under the arbor, found some compositions, and found a colorful background for my silhouettes.
The original image is pretty much just like you see it above, but the black areas within the stems and leaves were more of a dull black.
To correct that, I simply went into Photoshop and used “Selective Color” to select and darken the black areas about 20% more than what you see here.
I used the Canon 100mm macro and a 2x teleconverter.
I also tried to get into a position to where some of the blurred red foliage would come into play.

The next image was fairly simple to create.
I simply found a composition that I liked, waited a little while longer for the sun to go down to where I had a pure silhouette, and I shot up towards the sky.
Here too, I used the Canon 100mm macro and 2x teleconverter.
I also adjusted the black of the silhouette by 20% using Photoshop.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Japanese Lantern Tree” – Seed Pod Silhouette

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For me, … every day is a good day for shooting!
I still prefer those somewhat cloudy or gray days, but when the sun is bright and I am thinking “bold”, … I will often think silhouettes.
And, with those bold silhouettes, … good composition is an absolute must in my opinion.

So again, … just remember, … that every day is a good day for shooting.
Now, … go out and have some fun!

Thanks for stopping by gang,
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

November 28, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop | , , , , , | 6 Comments

“Do The Flip-Flop”, … With Your Macro Images.

You have edited all of your images, finished your key-wording, etc.
All images are in their proper place.
The phone is not ringing.
You are feeling the creative urge and want to go shooting, but maybe your body is telling you that it is time to take a break from shooting.
Maybe it’s simply cold outside, and you don’t feel like taking on the big chill at the moment.
You want to do something, … but have not nailed it down yet as to what you would like to do, … or to try.

Just sit down at your computer with your favorite drink, … maybe some of your favorite music playing in the background, … start going through your archive of images, … and do some “flip-flops”!
I have years worth of images that I can look at, and many of them that I have never played with using Photoshop or other programs to see if something quite different will come about.
Often times while doing this, I will come up with different ideas that I would like to try while out in the field shooting.
It helps to keep the mind fresh.

One thing that I will often do with a given image, is simply to try some inversions, … or to “flip-flop” the image with its colors.
I can flip-flop that image, then play with various colors, saturations, contrast, … whatever comes to mind, just to see what I can come up with.
Some images simply do not work out very well with those flip-flops, … but some can work out really well, allowing your mind to explore other areas within the various programs/software that you have on your hard drive.

Always allow yourself some “play time”.
Personally, I think that this is very important when one wants to advance their skills while out in the field or sitting in front of that computer.
Just play, … and sometimes, … the more funkier you get, … the more you learn!

This image below was inverted (flip-flopped) from the original, then adjusted in Photoshop using some desaturation and selective coloring.
I often like working with a darker image, then during the flip-flop, it sometimes will give off more of a high-key look.
Simple, … and easy to do.

© 2004 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Dahlia”

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Original Image
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So, ….. game on, ….. and have some fun with your images!
Hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, and thanks for stopping by!
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

November 26, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, flora, flowers, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, nature, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | 3 Comments

“Brazil Agate” – 100mm Macro, Extension Tubes, & 50mm Reversed Lens.

I am starting to pile up a room full of rocks and minerals here at home, most that have been photographed, quite a few that have yet to be photographed, and some that I will be revisiting with some new ideas in mind.
Out of all those rocks and minerals, I still find myself drawn to the “agate” slabs/rocks with all of their intricate designs that move in and around the rock.

I purchased this Brazil agate that you see below because of the possibility that existed for some landscape type looking images, containing scenes that might look like some mountains, valleys, the skies, … etc.
But this is the first one that gave a bit more when I viewed it under higher magnification.
Cool stuff!
Well, … at least to me it is pretty cool stuff!

“Brazil Agate”

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I set up the lightbox, cut on the light, set up two reflectors, placed the agate on top of the lightbox, and was a bit surprised at what I was seeing when looking through the 100mm macro, extension tubes, and the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 lens attached in reverse.
It felt somewhat like I was viewing a world underwater. A world showing movement of water over a bed of rocks. Or, it somewhat reminded me of my scuba diving days in waters where a very distinct “thermocline” existed, … hovering above the rocks below.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“Brazil Agate” – Up close

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Playing around and creating from these types of agates allows me to dream a bit, which I often will do, … then I get that urge to study it further, to ask those “how” and “why” questions from those who would know.
Educational, … and fun!

Thanks for visiting gang,
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

November 25, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, Fine Art Nature Photography, gems, landscapes, lapidary, life, macro, Macro Photographer, minerals, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, rock hound, rocks, slabs | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Something That Has Changed In My World Of Macro.

And just what is it that has changed in my world of macro, … and changed in a dramatic way?
Well, … damn, ….. I sure do get cold real easy it seems!
I have always enjoyed shooting no matter what season I am in, but lately, I long for spring and summer to last a bit longer.
It’s true. The older you get, … the colder you get.
My feet, my head, my hands, … all seems to suffer here in South Carolina.
I often wonder if I could handle what I see photographers putting up with farther north.
I doubt it!

My youngest son and I were out in the swamps the other day on a short 6 mile hike.
It was brisk, cold, … but beautiful on this day.
I was scanning a large batch of sweet smelling and rotting fruit that had fallen to the ground from the canopy of trees, pretty much down on my stomach with the macro.
My son was about 20ft way, looking through his macro at something low to the ground.
A gust of wind arrives, coming along the ground at a nice clip and over the waters within the swamp, right towards the top of my head.
I thought I was covered well with my clothing.
I let out a fairly loud sound which sounded somewhat like a owl because that wind found a opening, right behind my head and down into the neck area.
Then I said to myself (regarding that wind), “down my back right to my crack”.
I suddenly developed chill bumps the size of silver dollars on my butt cheeks!
I had never felt a rush like that from the cold winds. Never!

But, it was the laughter from my son that echoed throughout the swamp that really caught my attention. He had heard what I said.
A father, … his son, … having a good time together out on a hike, and something happened and was said that gave this young man some uncontrollable laughter. He sounded almost like a crazy person.
It is something that was said that probably would not have had the same kind of effect with someone else, but it really hit him good. It was a memorable moment for him that brought even more laughter later that day, and even that night as he told his mom all about it. Of course, she just rolled her eyes.
I guess it was simply a father/son thing. A “man” thing.
Buddying up with those who share the same kind of passion as you is a wonderful thing.
And then sometimes there are those “cherry on top” moments that occur, such as what happened on this day.
My son had a good laugh because of his dad, and his dad’s heart was warmed over on that day by the sound of his son’s laughter.
And, … it all started from the wind.

The image below is from a season that I seem to enjoy a bit more lately as I get older.
And also, … I have now decided to ask for some super thick socks for Christmas! : )
(I’m no good anymore when my feet get real cold!)

© 2005 – Michael Brown
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“Swallowtail Butterfly”

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Everyone take good care of yourself, … stay warm, … and thanks for stopping by.
Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

November 21, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 13 Comments

“The Watcher”

My youngest son and I had decided the day before to get up early and head out to the Congaree Swamp National Park.
The weather forecast called for cloudy weather, which was perfect for what I had in mind.
But, … not a cloud in the sky from the moment we got up and on to sundown.
A “blue sky” day for sure!

We headed for a area where I new there would be plenty of shade, shade produced by the largest remnants of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent. State and national tree records are held in this national park!
Before leaving the boardwalk and getting onto the backwoods trail where I wanted to photograph some reflections of fall colors in the tea colored waters, I decided to create some up close abstracts from the leaves that were along side the boardwalk.

Down on my stomach, head and camera along with the Lensbaby only about a foot away from the oily waters, I started to compose.
The very first view that I had, I noticed something in the middle of the frame which seemed a bit odd.
It looked like a figure, a person, … someone who was standing in the dark and oily waters, … watching me.

© 2008 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.
“The Watcher”

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I kept thinking about that very first image of the day, and was anxious to see that image on my screen when I got home.
Here is a part of the image cropped and enlarged.

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Looking at the original on the screen, I could see the area that possibly could look like a face.
Then I cropped and enlarged the area even more.
Whoa!

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On this day, I had certain ideas in mind for images I wanted for my files.
On this day, every where that I turned, there was something that I had never experienced before in this swamp.
On this day, it turned out that it was the best creative day I’ve ever had in this swamp.
On this day, … I could not help but to wonder, …… what was leading me to these intriguing spots?
What was telling me on this day to abandon all that I knew?

Only moments after this image was created, the waters of the swamp had slowly moved bits and pieces around to where this image looked drastically different, … and that figure in the waters of the swamp, was now gone.

Maybe the Watcher wanted to move on, urging my son and I to follow.

Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature”

November 9, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, daylily, Digital, dragonflies, dragonfly, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, gems, hemerocallis, hiking, horticulture, insects, landscapes, lapidary, life, macro, Macro Photographer, minerals, nature, Nature Photographer, odonata, outdoors, paintings, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, rock hound, rocks, slabs, Wildlife | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Fall Macro Photography. Love It!

Ah yes!
Fall time photography, when so many think that those possibilities have dwindled down to near zero, … that is the time when I will try to turn things up a notch. Spring is not the “only” macro season!
That late day sun for some small leaves and spent grasses along the pond, the fall colors reflecting in the waters with the wind helping to create small and somewhat tight ripples of color and your macro lens only inches above the water, capturing those colorful macro abstracts in the water, and then the use of what nature has given you and piled on top of a lightbox indoors.
Fall, … leading into winter, … seems to get some individuals who enjoy macro to get themselves into a creative funk.
There is absolutely no reason for it.
Now is the time to try something different from the norm!

The two images below that were created during the fall season, are simple examples of what can be done.
One created along the side of a pond, and then a colorful abstract created within the tea color waters of the Congaree Swamp National Park here in South Carolina.
Fun, … easy to do, ……. so why not go for it?

© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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© 2007 – Michael Brown
* Copying/downloading of images is prohibited.

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Here are some links leading to some absolutely wonderful work that I have discovered over the past few weeks, some that I have enjoyed for the very first time, and some that I have not visited for a while but really love what they have accomplished recently.

Mark Adamus and his site “TimeCatcher”, … he’s still producing some stunning landscapes!
UK photographer “Adam Burton” and his landscapes from various areas such as Antarctica, Argentina, New England, New Zealand, Scotland, Norway, … and more. Awesome!
BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Andy Biggs, and after having a bit of a chat with him over the phone the other day, a “down to earth” kind of guy, shows why he is absolutely one of the best in the world at what he does. It does not get much better than this!
And personally, … I think that “William Neill” is a photographer that others can not only enjoy his work, … but should study it. His work I can breathe in!!

Well, … outta here gang!
Hope everyone is getting along fine, and thanks for visiting.

Michael

Michael Brown – Photographer

“Macro Art In Nature” – Website

November 7, 2008 Posted by | abstract, art, blog, botanical, canon, composition, Digital, DSLR, fauna, Fine Art Nature Photography, flora, flowers, hiking, horticulture, landscapes, life, macro, Macro Photographer, nature, Nature Photographer, outdoors, Photo Blog, photoblog, photography, photoshop, Wildlife | , , , , , | 6 Comments

   

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